PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 3) — The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society announced today that it has received a $1.65 million grant through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (Pennvest) for the planting of more than 8,000 trees in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs.
The funding comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is part of a portfolio of green infrastructure projects encouraged by both federal and state government. Pennvest serves communities by funding sewer, storm water and drinking water projects, which contribute to improving the commonwealth’s environment and the health of its residents, in addition to supporting economic growth and job creation.
The PHS projects funded by the grant will plant trees throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania in order to alleviate flooding, manage storm water, protect and clean sources of drinking water, reduce the heat island effect produced by urban areas, and improve air quality. The trees also will improve the quality of life in area neighborhoods, increase residential property values, and boost the economic health of commercial districts.
“Each tree we plant will function as a powerful engine that improves our environment and provide beauty and shade in our communities for future generations,” said Maitreyi Roy, PHS Vice President of Programs. “We are thrilled with the opportunity this Pennvest award provides for PHS and our partners – Tree Tenders, non-profit organizations, county government, municipalities, and the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department – to plant and care for thousands of new trees in our region.”
The trees will be planted in three types of locations:
A total of 5,850 trees will be placed in riparian buffer zones along waterways to improve the local ecosystems and the quality of area source water. They will be planted in existing naturally vegetated areas with support from Conservation District offices in Bucks, Chester and Montgomery counties.
Approximately 920 trees will be planted on public lands, mainly in municipal and neighborhood parks in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties.
Approximately 1,260 trees will be planted along public streets in Philadelphia, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. More than 60 of these trees will be planted at seven locations in Philadelphia in sophisticated storm water-managing tree pits and continuous tree trenches, which include pervious pavers to allow rain from the sidewalk to infiltrate the pits and trenches.
PHS is a non-profit, statewide organization that engages, trains and empowers people who want to learn about gardening, and encourages them to transform their communities through greening. Its urban revitalization program, Philadelphia Green, brings people and partners together through the restoration of neighborhood parks, creation of community gardens, tree plantings and training sessions, storm water management initiatives, urban agriculture projects, youth programs, and the maintenance of cherished public landscapes.